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Global CIO: Larry Ellison Vows To 'Go After' HP; Is Alliance Dead?

Calling HP's high-end computers vulnerable, slow, and expensive, Ellison promised to pound HP in the marketplace—this is an "alliance?"

"Well—that's a little embarrassing!" he said with a chortle.

Ellison then spent a minute discussing the IBM system and its results, and then brought up his money slide showing the relative performances of HP, IBM, and Oracle/Sun. At the bottom was HP with its performance of 4 million transactions per minute; then IBM in the middle with 10 million transactions per minute; and then at the top, Oracle/Sun with 30 million transactions per minute.

Clearly, it was a resounding victory for Oracle, and one that the slide showed unmistakably. But Ellison deliberately pounded away at HP in language suitable for an arch-rival rather than for a longtime strategic partner.

"So if these computers were animals—I mean, the question is—I don't know how many people have seen the Wall Street Journal, but we ran an ad that said, 'If these computers were animals, what kind of animals would they be?' " Ellison asked.

And then up came the next slide, with Oracle portrayed as a huge cheetah, IBM represented by a mid-size racehorse, and then HP lampooned as a little turtle. Laughing and clearly having a great time, Ellison said, "I hope no one's offended by this—but if they are, I guess that's okay too.

"We're one big cheetah, and IBM's a stallion . . . and HP's a Turtledome," said Ellison with a huge laugh. And then he made his and Oracle's intentions toward HP unmistakably clear:

"Make no misunderstanding—there should be no misunderstanding—we think the HP machines are vulnerable, we think they're slow, we think they're expensive, we think they're vulnerable in the marketplace, and we're gonna go after them," Ellison said (emphasis added).

"We're gonna go after them in the marketplace with better software, better hardware, and better people, and we're gonna win market share against those guys in the database business, in the middleware business, in the server business and in the storage business because we have better products. We just have better products," Ellison said.

"And they're far behind."

The next slide showed side-by-side images of the Sparc Supercluster and the IBM P7, with a red starburst graphic saying "Dethroned!" over the IBM machine, and Ellison had some fairly nice things to say about IBM and its technology:

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